Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Start of Something New...

I don't know why I was compelled to start a blog. I'm not a writer, nor have I ever been one. However, this morning I felt that I should log on to blogger and start a blog specifically for teaching statistics. I have taught AP Statistics for 8 years and am finishing my 1st year teaching intro stat at a Division 1 university.

My goal, if you can call it that, is to share and document my classroom activities as well as ferret out interesting websites for stat teachers. I hope that's a goal I can acheive :)

I guess my first post will be about the ups and downs of this past week. I am now officially on spring break and have some time to reflect. Last weekend, I finally had a chance to sit down and modify a lab activity that I had gotten at an AP workshop with Penny Smeltzer. The original idea was to use Fatal Vision goggles ("drunk goggles") to simulate intoxication and to document the number of infractions that occured in a sobriety test called the Walk and Turn test. On Monday, Each student did the WAT test both with and without the goggles ("drunk" and "sober") while the rest of the class counted infractions and our campus police determined whether each person passed or failed the test. In Penny's original lab, the students performed a matched-pairs t-test on the data, but since I have not gotten to inference for means yet, I wanted to modify the lab for testing with proportions. We had 24 people take the test and recorded the information for our data sheet. The kids had a great time and I hope they realized how alcohol affects their vision (remember, we *are* on spring break!). On Tuesday, I had to be absent, so I left the lab sheet for my students to analyze the data we had gathered. Halfway through the day, I got a call from a coworker asking if she could invite my students to her room during class to listen to a radio personality talk about the research that goes into the radio song selection. While my kids really enjoyed the guest speaker, they did not have the time to review the lab and work with their partners. I've included the lab sheet for anyone that is interested, but please give credit where credit is due and leave the last line on the last page. Thanks :)

Fatal Vision Lab

On Friday we took a test over inference for proportions. While I haven't graded it yet, I'm worried that 4 students left the 2-proportion test mostly blank, so I am anticipating having to write a make-up exam for the free response portion. I am hoping that for most of them, the senioritis of spring break just kept them from doing their best. *sigh*

I have been scouring my stack of newspapers (from the past month *ugh*) looking for studies that I can create test questions and worksheets with. I love my textbook (BVD), but after 4 years, I'm tired of the homework problems and looking for new ones. As I get problems written, I also hope to post them here so that people can use them in their own classrooms.

Well, I suppose I should wrap this up for now. I am headed to my mom's for a few days. Thanks for tuning in :)

1 comment:

Jackie said...

I'm looking forward to your posts! Although I'm not teaching stats (this year), I'm always looking for new ideas.